The emergence of Leishmania major and Leishmania donovani in southern Turkey.
ABSTRACT In southern Turkey, Leishmania tropica and L. infantum are both the causative agents of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) and visceral leishmaniasis (VL), respectively. However, L. major and L. donovani were known to exist after the influx of Syrian refugees.
Between the years of July 2003 and July 2013, a total of 167 smears and 113 bone marrow samples were taken from CL and VL-suspected cases, respectively. Samples were analysed through real-time PCR and ITS1 DNA sequencing.
One hundred and seven 64% (107/167) smears and 56% (63/113) bone marrow samples were positive for leishmaniasis according to the real-time PCR. Three different Leishmania species were found in the 107 CL cases by real-time PCR: 42% (45/107) L. tropica, 36.5% (39/107) L. infantum and 21.5% (23/107) L. major. In addition, three different Leishmania species were identified in the 63 VL cases: 60.3% (38/63) L. infantum, 30.2% (19/63) L. donovani and 9.5% (6/63) L. tropica using real-time PCR. The results of real-time PCR were confirmed with Leishmania ITS1 DNA sequencing.
This study revealed that in southern Turkey, L. major and L. donovani were the aetiological agents of CL and VL, respectively. It was assumed that emergence of L. major and L. donovani was due to influx of Syrian refugees, as well as the effects of global warming.